Amazing Book – “goodbye ed, hello me”

This is a cross post that is also running on We Are the Real Deal.

I just got done reading a really great book about recovering from an eating disorder and learning to fall back in love with life and yourself. It’s called “goodbye ed, hello me” by Jenni Schaefer, a recovered anorexic and bulimic. (Ed was her way of referring to eating disorder in the third person.)

Even if you do not have, are recovering from, or have already recovered from, an eating disorder, this book reads in fun, upbeat, down-to-earth language about how to love your body and yourself, and live your life to the fullest.

In fact, this book has been pivotal for me. It helped me recently to take the giant leap of faith from 30+ years of disordered eating to intuitive eating, and for that I am so grateful. It’s only been 13 days, but so far, so good. I’m taking it one day at a time.

I read this book with 27 months of being binge-free under my belt. Through therapy and blogging, I was fully understanding the things that went on in my childhood that led me to become a compulsive overeater all these years. I saw patterns that I repeated with people throughout my life. I was gaining new awarenesses and growing.

I have stopped weighing myself once a day and instead now get on the scale once a month. I am following my hunger cues and asking myself what I really want to eat when I’m hungry. I also found out that my estrogen level was low and started taking a supplement. I don’t know if any, or all of these things, contributed to a new wonderful sense of calmness I am feeling. It is a peacefulness. It makes me feel like I am learning to trust myself and my body.

I felt like I was on the cusp of taking the next step which would be dropping the calorie counting and weighing/measuring my food, but I was floundering on how and when to begin.

I’m a firm believer in that people and things come into your life for a reason. One night, as I picked up the book to read before going to bed, it just so happened that the chapter entitled “Jump” was where my bookmark was.

The author said, “I can’t emphasize how important is it to put on your metaphorical parachute and jump… Jumping is scary, so don’t wait around until you’re not scared to do it. Jump now and declare your independence from Ed.”

There was my answer, my sign. I woke up the next morning and didn’t measure out my cereal or anything else I would typically put in a measuring cup, nor did I put any of my other foods on the food scale. I ate when my body told me it was hungry. I admit to still doing some calorie tabulating in my head (a hard habit to break after decades of counting!), but I never wrote anything down and never truly knew exactly how much I had because my brain couldn’t handle doing all that math. =)

I could relate to so much of what Jenni Schaefer had to say in this book, I hope that some of it resonates with you as well.

Other stuff that resonated with me from the book:

Schaefer said that her eating disorder had become her identity and that (after therapy and hard work) as long as she kept referring to herself as being in recovery from her eating disorder, she was giving Ed a place in her life. This, she says, was a self-fulfilling prophecy for her. As long as she believed that Ed would haunt her, he did, so she stopped believing it. When she started referring to herself as being recovered, she took a huge step forward. She refused to give Ed any power in her life.

Schaefer writes about how she was looking to regain and love herself, no matter what size she was. She challenges – imagine a world where everyone believed the the happiest and most successful people were the ones at their natural weight? Better yet, she says, imagine a world where being at your natural weight was embraced by society without having to be tied to happiness or success at all?

She learned that people are attracted to her energy, to her soul, not her body as she used to think.

The author also admitted to being a perfectionist, but she said being that way caused her to ignore or discount what she had achieved, but that now, she is able to fully acknowledge her accomplishments, providing her with the self-confidence to keep moving forward in a healthy way.

She realized too that a big part of her eating disorder revolved around approval seeking, not just from society that said she should be thin, but that her ED became a coping mechanism for her people-pleasing behaviors. She knew this needed to change and took the steps to do just that.

Lastly, she says not to let the past dictate your present. She said the idea of “impossible” is often just an idea constructed in our minds. As long as we believe something is possible, it will be.

One Day at a Time... Nurture myself... Awareness... Letting Go... Listen to my Body

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Comments

24 Responses, Leave a Reply
  1. Waisting Time
    09 April 2010, 4:30 pm

    I just emailed the link to this post to another blogger. She has been struggling with intuitive eating. I thought she could relate or find inspiration. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Karen
    .-= Waisting Time´s last blog ..More than a Number =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks, karen, for passing it on, i hope it helps in some way.

    i could probably benefit from reading this person’s blog if you wouldn’t mind giving me the website.

    [Reply]

  2. Jess
    09 April 2010, 9:28 pm

    Congratulations on your intuitive abstinence! I like this review very much–the author seems very insightful, and the personal experience is always appreciated when one is trying to work on something as sinister and life-stealing as an eating disorder.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks, jess. fyi – she has a book she wrote before this, about overcoming the eating disorder. i didn’t read it, but i would bet that it was as powerful as this one was.

    [Reply]

  3. Recovering Anorexic
    10 April 2010, 1:35 am

    Hi there; can I add you to my blogroll?

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    sure, i am flattered! i will be sure to check out your site too. =)

    [Reply]

  4. karen@fitnessjourney
    10 April 2010, 9:23 am

    This sounds like a great book. I was intrigued by what she said about pleasing people. I wonder if that is the reason that so many young women in Hollywood are so grossly thin, they are trying to please people-us, society. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this. Do you think those women have actual eating disorders?
    .-= karen@fitnessjourney´s last blog ..Manage Your Health Like a Business =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    it was really good, karen, as i said, i read it at just the right moment in my life. i think a year ago, it would have been great, but it wouldn’t have been as powerful for me.
    yes, i think society puts a huge pressure on the women in hollywood to be grossly thin. do they have eating disorders? great question! my guess is that there would definitely be some kind of disorder there. i imagine it is a ton of pressure out there and i’m sure that many directors will tell an actress – you can have this part if you lose X lbs. i’m sure many of the women feel like they must do what the director says in order to work. and the way the tabloids are, well, sheesh, if you gain weight, you are photographed and verbally attacked. it’s very sad and i’m sure a tough way to live.

    [Reply]

  5. Biz
    10 April 2010, 12:04 pm

    I loved reading this post – my favorite line?

    “Lastly, she says not to let the past dictate your present.”

    I think you are doing awesome!!!
    .-= Biz´s last blog ..I Cried. =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks, biz! so many of us do let the past, especially our failures, dictate the present and future. if we could just tweak our mindsets a bit, it would make a world of difference.

    [Reply]

  6. Ameena
    10 April 2010, 1:56 pm

    I definitely think that a lot of perfectionists have a form of an ED, even if they aren’t all out ED’s. I am a perfectionist, and so even though I am at low weight I am still trying to get to the perfect, pre-Maya body! So silly but I can’t handle that a certain aspect of my life is not what I want it to be.
    .-= Ameena´s last blog ..Operation SMFC =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    very interesting point about perfectionists!!! i know how hard it is to let go of that control. i’m workin’ on it.

    [Reply]

  7. My Lipstick Life
    10 April 2010, 9:26 pm

    I love that all things are possible. I just forget sometimes. Thanks for the reminder. Congratulations on putting away the measuring cup. I am a firm believer that our bodies are perfectly made and if we’re listening will tell us exactly what, when and how much to eat. I’m going to check out that book!
    .-= My Lipstick Life´s last blog ..Can We Turn Up The Heat In Here? =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    you’re so welcome. yup, we are all equipped to listen to our bodies, it’s just tough because so many of us use food for so many things other than just nourishment.
    i think you’ll enjoy the book. if you get it, please let me know what you think!

    [Reply]

  8. tanya
    11 April 2010, 11:05 am

    You mentioned that in your childhood (not getting enought of attention) played a part to your bingeing. When you feel or felt the urge to binge, what did you do OR think to make yourself Not binge?

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    do you mean how do i deal with it now, tanya?

    [Reply]

    tanya Reply:

    Yes, when you first stopped binging to now, what is it that you do or say to yourself that stops the binge?
    thanks!~

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    great question, tanya!
    i started typing out my answer in a response to you, but it was getting pretty long, so i decided to post about it tomorrow (monday) instead. i hope you don’t mind. so please hang on and i will happily give you my response in my blog monday afternoon.

  9. Jody - Fit at 52
    11 April 2010, 12:59 pm

    You are helping so many people by writing about your experience! I have not been “here” that long but long enough to see the changes in your posts & very exciting for you!
    .-= Jody – Fit at 52´s last blog ..Wedding Pictures!!!!!!!!!!! =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    gosh, i hope so, jody. it is definitely therapeutic for me to write about my experiences.

    [Reply]

  10. Sarah
    12 April 2010, 12:44 pm

    I’m so glad you are in a more peaceful place! And it sounds like your intuitive eating experiment is going well — yay!

    This sounds like a great book. Thanks for the review!

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks, sarah! so far so good.

    [Reply]

  11. Lisa
    12 April 2010, 4:48 pm

    Yea! Yea! Yea! I’m so thrilled that you loved this book as much as I did and it has helped you along your journey 🙂
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..It’s about time…. =-.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    i can’t thank you enough!

    [Reply]

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